Do menstrual cups give pain?

Menstrual Cup Pain: Is It Normal & What Can You Do About It?

First, let鈥檚 clear the air: you shouldn鈥檛 experience pain when using a menstrual cup. In fact, most find they鈥檙e more comfortable to wear than tampons once you get used to them. Yet some people do report pain when inserting, removing, or wearing their cup.

You might not want to talk about it, thinking it鈥檚 normal or just 鈥渁 bit of discomfort鈥, but it鈥檚 not the norm.

While menstrual cup pain is uncommon, it鈥檚 not unheard of and, from listening to the experiences of our users, we have a good idea of why you may be in pain. In this article, we鈥檒l share techniques and methods that you can adopt to get rid of this pain and discomfort鈥攕o we can get you enjoying more comfortable periods.聽

We always recommend that you should make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you鈥檙e experiencing pain, but this article will help you to understand some common causes. Let鈥檚 get started.

Someone resting on their period because of cramps and pain

Seeking a zero-waste and fuss-free period? For every Ruby Cup purchased, we donate another one to a person without access to safe menstrual products. Get your Ruby Cup now.

What causes menstrual cup pain?

As mentioned, you shouldn鈥檛 be experiencing any persistent pain or discomfort while wearing a menstrual cup. If you do, you need to contact your health provider to check for potential medical issues. Wearing a menstrual cup doesn鈥檛 cause pain in itself.聽

Many menstrual cup users say they don鈥檛 even feel their cup when it鈥檚 in. They鈥檝e mastered how to insert and remove their cup to the extent they sometimes report forgetting they鈥檙e on their period altogether!

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If you鈥檙e one of the few people experiencing pain or discomfort, it could be due to a few reasons, which we鈥檒l walk you through. Keep in mind, there鈥檚 no research to support that the following issues cause pain, so we鈥檙e speaking from our experience of talking to thousands of people who use Ruby Cup.

You might feel pain when wearing your menstrual cup if:聽

  • The cup is too firm and it鈥檚 exerting force on your vaginal wall.
  • The cup is touching or even suctioning to your cervix.
  • The cup is too big or too long for you.
  • The cup is sitting too high up and is pushing against your vaginal wall/cervix.

Technique also plays a role in how your cup will finally sit. Insertion and removal of the cup can be a trying feat for many new users. We鈥檒l get to a guide of that below but first, we鈥檒l go over some other common reasons for discomfort.聽

People who haven鈥檛 experienced sexual intercourse, used vibrators, or worn tampons may also experience discomfort inserting a cup. It鈥檚 also possible that the muscles along the walls of the vaginal canal will tighten if you鈥檙e nervous, causing slight pain.

There鈥檚 no need to feel apprehensive about wearing a menstrual cup, and you鈥檝e come to the right place if you do. Ruby Cup is on a mission to provide in-depth guides and how-to鈥檚 with answers to frequently asked questions about menstrual cups, and why they are the best period product to choose.聽

Read also: Ruby Cup Explains: How to make your period end faster

Is it discomfort or is it pain?

It鈥檚 difficult to define whether you鈥檙e feeling discomfort or pain. Pain thresholds differ with some people preferring to 鈥渨alk it off鈥, whereas others prefer to find a remedy immediately.聽

There鈥檚 no definite chart outlining where discomfort ends and pain begins, but there are methods that you can adopt to ensure that you鈥檙e comfortable wearing your menstrual cup.

  • It could also be that your menstrual cup is too big. There are different sizes available you should explore before deciding to stop wearing a menstrual cup due to discomfort.聽
  • Your insertion technique might not be adapted to your body. There exist three main techniques, that we cover later, which are easily manipulated with a softer cup.聽
  • The stem of your cup could be sticking out. This regularly happens when your cup is the correct size but your cervix is low, for example. A quick trim of the stem will fix that right up.聽
  • Perhaps you aren鈥檛 pushing your cup up far enough. No two vaginal canals are the same. When first wearing your menstrual cup we advise playing around with the height position you are most comfortable with, along with folding methods.

  • Not knowing how to remove a menstrual cup may also cause pain. More on this below.

It鈥檚 important to not confuse pain and discomfort and react according to your body. It could be dangerous if you鈥檙e in pain and you ignore it. As always, if in doubt make an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss your menstrual cup use.聽

Check out our menstrual cup sizing guide to find out which cup size will suit you the best.聽

Should inserting a menstrual cup hurt?

No, it shouldn鈥檛 hurt while you insert your menstrual cup.聽

But, some first-time users experience a bit of pain while exploring the different insertion techniques available. It takes time to find the correct folding method to suit you and to get used to inserting a menstrual cup. Choosing a softer cup will help you manipulate the different folding methods, and is better for a lower cervix.聽

4 Tips to avoid menstrual cup pain during insertion

  1. Use a folding method that has a smaller insertion surface. At Ruby Cup, we recommend the punch-down fold if your vaginal canal tenses during insertion.

    Menstrual cup fold gif

    Fold your cup by punching down one side to create a smaller insertion surface.


  2. Spread some water-based lube around the rim of your menstrual cup. This will ease the insertion process for you. The silicone in silicone-based lubricants will affect the medical-grade silicone of the menstrual cup so choose a water-based lubricant.聽
  3. Find the best position to insert your cup. Some people insert it while sitting on the toilet, some people with one leg up, others squatting, and some even reported succeeding with inserting their menstrual cup while in the shower. Similar to how you would have inserted your tampon.聽
  4. Relax. By relaxing you鈥檒l loosen the muscles of your vaginal canal facilitating a smoother insertion. It鈥檚 OK to feel nervous the first couple of times. Just remember you鈥檙e making a planet-friendly choice, and if you choose Ruby Cup your actions are helping to eliminate period poverty worldwide.聽

Should taking out a menstrual cup hurt?

No, it shouldn鈥檛 hurt to remove your menstrual cup. The only time it鈥檒l hurt while you remove your menstrual cup is if you don鈥檛 break the seal first.聽

How to avoid menstrual cup pain during removal

The most important factor to consider is to pinch the base on your cup to break the suction. Once the suction releases you can continue by pulling the stem. Some menstrual cups, like Ruby Cup, are designed with perforated holes to help break the seal.聽

Whatever the situation, you shouldn鈥檛 begin by pulling on the stem before the seal is broken. If your cup has moved up while wearing it, and you鈥檙e having difficulties reaching the base, then do a very low squat to reach it or try a different position.

It鈥檚 not uncommon for new users to experience difficulties in removing their menstrual cup. There鈥檚 no need to panic. Relax, ease your muscles, and try again later. Menstrual cups can't get lost inside your vagina.

As always, seek assistance from your healthcare provider if needed.

Menstrual cups and cramps

Cramps are one of the most abhorred side effects of menstruation. Cramping occurs when your uterus contracts to shed your uterine lining, which is your menstrual blood. Your uterus begins contracting a couple of days before your period begins, and continues for one or two more days in the beginning, on average. For many, it鈥檚 the knock on the door that their periods are coming.

People who experience heavy periods may feel more cramps or those who suffer from conditions like endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).聽

Endometriosis symptoms can be heightened while menstruating causing severe cramps. People with PCOS can experience irregular periods but cramping can occur without the presence of blood.聽

Do menstrual cups reduce period cramps?

Some menstrual cup users have reported feeling fewer cramps while wearing a cup, but it鈥檚 not scientifically proven. It鈥檚 down to personal experience and your unique body functions.

Ruby Cup review about menstrual cup and cramps

聽鈥 or do they make them worse?

We would love to straight-up say 鈥榥o鈥 but there鈥檚 no scientific evidence to prove that menstrual cups reduce cramps. Still, we haven鈥檛 had any of our thousands of customers tell us their cramps got worse, only how their cramps have lessened since starting to use a Ruby Cup and how their periods with tampons were worse.

Review from someone who had less pain with menstrual cup than with tampons

Review from Ruby Cup user who prefers menstrual cups over tampons

People have also reported how choosing an IUD as a birth control contraceptive helped reduce cramps, most notably the hormone-coated IUD. Still, this is down to personal choice and is not backed scientifically.聽

If you have an IUD or are considering getting one then read our guide on how to use a menstrual cup with an IUD. Also, speak with your gynecologist about what will work best for you.

Related post: Are period cups good or bad for menstrual cramps?

No pain? Yes, please!

Wearing your menstrual cup, inserting it, and removing it shouldn鈥檛 be a painful experience. It can take some getting used to. Practice and try different techniques until you鈥檙e 100% comfortable.聽

Remember that you鈥檙e not alone in your efforts to reduce period product waste by choosing a sustainable and planet-friendly alternative. There鈥檚 plenty of resources available online to help you get through the heaviest of periods while using a menstrual cup.聽聽

Choosing to use a menstrual cup will save up to 3,000 tampons from going to the dump throughout an average lifetime of menstruation. This is a perfect eco-friendly solution for your menstrual flow.

And always, reach out to your healthcare professional for medical advice if you鈥檙e in any doubt.聽

Seeking a zero-waste and fuss-free period? For every Ruby Cup purchased, we donate another one to a person without access to safe menstrual products. Get your Ruby Cup now.聽

Julie and Amaia from Ruby Cup

FAQs about menstrual cup pain

Why is my menstrual cup hurting me?

Don鈥檛 brush off any pain you experience while wearing a menstrual cup. You shouldn鈥檛 feel pain with just the cup alone. Speak with your doctor as you may have an underlying health condition.

Stop using your menstrual cup until the issue is resolved. In most cases, it is due to the size of your cup so check our聽menstrual cup sizing guide to be sure.聽

Do menstrual cups give you cramps?

It鈥檚 not scientifically proven but according to our customers, menstrual cups tend to alleviate cramps rather than cause them.聽

Can menstrual cups cause pelvic pain?

Incorrectly wearing your menstrual cup can cause some pain. When the cup is inserted too high up it sucks to the cervix. A menstrual cup should be set in place by creating suction using your vaginal canal walls.聽

How can I lessen the pain of menstrual cup removal?

People may feel pain when removing their menstrual cup. To stop this ensure to first pinch the base of your cup to break the seal, then pull the stem to remove your cup.聽 Experiment with different folds when inserting to ensure your cup is sitting well for easier removal.聽

We advise you to choose a cup that has perforated holes to help break the suction on removal.

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